"A problematic period": that's how Lithuania's foreign minister L. Linkevicius has described the lack of co-ordination within NATO that recently led French President Emmanuel Macron to decry the transatlantic military alliance as suffering from "brain death".
Linas Linkevicius has told FRANCE 24 that "rumours about the death of NATO are strongly exaggerated", insisting - like Angela Merkel - that problems can be "overcome".
This week marks the annual NATO ministerial meeting in Washington, when foreign ministers from the Alliance’s 29 members convene to discuss shared security threats. It also marks the 70th anniversary of NATO itself: a milestone that has been met with both celebration of NATO’s past and trepidation about its future.
One of the foreign ministers in town this week is Lithuania’s Linas Linkevičius, a seasoned diplomat who has long argued for a tougher line on Russia and for prioritizing the fight against disinformation. Charles Davidson, Publisher of The American Interest, and TAI Editor-in-Chief Jeffrey Gedmin recently sat down with the Foreign Minister to discuss the state of the NATO alliance at a time of profound uncertainty. This transcript has been edited for clarity.
Charles Davidson for TAI: I’ve known you for many years as a strong defender of Western values, and I remember an incident about four years ago when you were speaking at a think tank in Washington. In the Q&A at the end, a young man from the Russian Embassy stood up and disputed what was really happening in Ukraine. You spoke to him directly, first debunking his claims, and then saying that he must know in his heart that what he said was completely inaccurate. And he sat down with no rejoinder.
Linas Linkevičius: No one supported him, that’s right. Although there were other people from the Embassy present, I remember.